Meet a Member: Glennis McNeal

One of the people I look forward to seeing at an NFPW conference is Glennis McNeal. She splits her time between Oregon and California and is one of the members who always makes the conference more fun. She is always looking for new adventures and is always willing to step up and learn something new. One example is when she worked a shift for the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible,” program when they revamped the Mill Creek Cattle Company restaurant in Redlands, CA. She did whatever was needed to make that particular program a success. She finds a way to succeed with everything she attempts. Meet my friend, Glennis McNeal.

Name : Glennis McNeal

City and State: Beaverton, Oregon and Redlands, CA

Glennis

Glennis McNeal

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I’m a member of Oregon Press Women and Arizona Professional Writers. I served as OPW president twice, POPPS president once, currently POPPS newsletter editor. Coordinated a Lewis and Clark pre-conference tour before the Seattle NFPW conference. Coordinated the pre- and post-conference tours for the Arizona NFPW conference. Still send out meeting notices and news for Oregon Press Women.

Years a member of NFPW: 41 this year

Tell us a little about you.

I’m a self-taught freelance journalist, public relations practitioner, medical writer and magazine editor. My professional communications training came through Oregon Press Women and NFPW. Workshops and conversations with fellow members provided answers to questions as well as inspiration. Contact with fellow members fired me with desire to improve, and gave me courage to take on new ventures. The examples of their published work provided new ideas. The examples of their lives were potent guideposts, and still are.

I was the Public Information Director for a national lay health nonprofit, The National Psoriasis Foundation. I worked there for a decade and after retiring, earned a college degree in Arts and Humanities from Linfield College in Oregon.

Now I’m having a tough time saying these two dirty words: “I’m retired.”

Glennis McNeal, left and Sandi Latimer at an NFPW conference.

Glennis McNeal, left and Sandi Latimer at an NFPW conference.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep up with technology.

Don’t be afraid to tackle something new, even if you seem unqualified. I once confided in my late husband, George, “I don’t know how to do all the things this new project requires.” He responded, “Well, nobody knows everything about anything. Find someone who can help you with the unfamiliar stuff.” It worked for me!

That being said, I wish I had pursued my college education much sooner. I’d have done a better job if I’d known what I was doing.

A pleasant attitude and a sense of humor goes a long way, especially if you genuinely like people.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Perfect pitch. And a singing voice worth the gift of any pitch at all.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Anywhere with interesting things to see and do. I’m an Oregon resident and also a snowbird– 21 years in Arizona, two years so far in California. Loved Arizona Press Women. In Redlands, California, I’ve joined a book club that meets in a brewery.

What book are you reading?

Missoula–Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer. I’m from Montana and can’t wait to hear what my University of Montana friends think of the book. I’m prepared to wipe spittle from my eyeglasses.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I played the baritone sax in a Wyoming high school marching band and in the school’s dance band. I was a nightclub hostess and hat check girl in South Dakota. For years I edited a quarterly publication for a Weight Watchers franchise. When I told people at NFPW conferences, “I edit ‘The Loser’,” their sympathetic response was usually, “Maybe you’ll have better luck in next year’s communications contest.” The publication’s name was, in fact, “The Loser” and it actually won a few prizes.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

Each has provided lifelong friends and opportunities not available to me by other means. Members were resources for me when I was freelancing and later, when I was seeking space nationally for health news.

Also, I love their profane commentary during pre- and post-conference tours and when meeting them in hotel bars. Conference trips exposed me to wonderful areas of the country in the company of people who knew–and shared–the real story behind the tourism hype.

Way to follow you on.

I’m on Facebook. You’ll see frequent pictures of my 8 grandchilden!

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2 Comments on “Meet a Member: Glennis McNeal”


  1. I appreciate what Glennis had to say about the value of membership, especially “The examples of their lives were potent guideposts, and still are.” I have learned so much and been guided so often by our members, and they often don’t know how they have influenced me. Thanks for sharing in a way I never could.

  2. leslieodonnell Says:

    Great post. I met Glennis when I joined Oregon Press Women in 1986, and since I moved to New Hampshire, I have looked forward to seeing her at NFPW conferences. Glennis is so much fun to be around, and she’s seen my kids grow up (I used to bring them to OPW conferences). Thanks for the interview. Leslie O’Donnell, At-Large


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